Digital coupons in general and mobile coupons specifically have reached the point where businesses can’t really afford to continue a wait-and-see perspective. 36% of coupon users increased the use of paperless coupons so far this year and 32% of consumers prefer to receive offers via smartphone. Furthermore, discounts received on mobile devices influenced 67% of consumers’ decisions about where to shop.
What’s more, 72% of consumers look for coupons on their smartphone while inside a store. That percentage jumps to 90% for Millennials alone. Nearly 60% of consumers would have a more positive opinion of a retailer that started sending coupons and other offers that could be saved on their smartphones.
Of course, the uptick in use isn’t the only reason you should consider adopting a digital coupon strategy. It provides convenience, not only to the customer but to you as well. Digital coupons are easy to distribute and accept, and they’re much more affordable to create. It can be considered environmentally responsible because you aren’t printing a host of coupons. Digital coupons can help your business meet increasing customer expectations for cross-device digital engagement, and often fit snugly with your other digital marketing efforts.
For instance, both Android Pay and Apple Pay feature options for coupon redemption at POS. When managed correctly, especially in conjunction with an app, these coupons can also unlock insights about consumer spending and interests. That also means you’ll give yourself a competitive edge in the market and with new customers.
Beginning a Digital Coupon Campaign
If you decide to use digital and mobile coupons, remember to start by developing them the way you would develop any coupon offer.
Nearly a third of coupon users (31%) want a specific dollar amount off of their purchase. You still need to focus on the three key parts of a coupon as well:
You also need to be aware of the platforms your audience uses, or you’ll essentially waste your marketing efforts. For instance, UK mobile brand Orange (now EE) offered a two-for-one ticket coupon that was only valid on Wednesdays at local cinemas. Customers had to text a code word to an Orange promotional number in order to receive the coupon code. The brand issued 300, 000 coupons each week, effectively boosting ticket sales on a day that didn’t see much business without hurting high-sale days.
You should also learn about and adopt the processes and technologies recommended by standardization organizations, like GS1. This will help you utilize common, secure, and interworking platforms.
Following are a number of specific necessary elements to developing and managing your digital coupon campaign.
Crucial Coupon Campaign Elements
Create Targeted Campaigns
Targeting always makes consumer engagement more effective, so start with a specific goal, select a specific segment, and tailor your campaign offer and coupon creative specifically for your target audience.
Utilize psychological persuasion tactics (e.g., authority, liking, social proof) and leverage the concepts of scarcity and urgency to improve opt-in and redemption rates.
Coupon management platforms or apps can sometimes help you develop segments, but they can definitely help you design and distribute your campaign, including the creative. Valpak has more than proven its efficacy in targeting based on its direct mail coupons, and our SEO-optimized digital coupons are an equally powerful tool.
Distribute Coupon PromotionsUnlike the coupons you put in the newspaper, you need to promote your digital and mobile coupon offers. Fortunately, this opens up new opportunities for reaching customers in an extremely targeted way.
For instance, if a customer has abandoned their cart for a lengthy period of time, an email or text message reminding them of the cart and offering a discount on their next purchase can diminish churn. In fact, sharing coupons via email is itself lucrative: 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase in response to a promotional email.
Social media is also a strong platform on which to leverage discounts—just remember to follow social media best practices and don’t over promote on those channels. You should also take advantage of partner blogs, specialized landing pages that SEM advertising can direct to, and even website popups for customers whose digital cart reaches a certain dollar amount.
Manage Coupon Fraud
Coupon fraud is no small thing—it’s responsible for $600 million lost annually. Coupons that are utilized online or through mobile devices are just as much a part of fraudulent activity as coupons sent out in newspapers and direct mail.
Fortunately, there are methods you can use to limit fraudulent redemptions. Start by clearly defining date and time restrictions; the expiration window will limit the scope of fraudulent behavior while also enhancing the sense of scarcity. Similarly, dynamic visuals like countdown clocks can prevent most screenshot fraud while increasing the sense of urgency.
On a more technical level, unique URLs help prevent fraudulent discount sites from cannibalizing them while providing brands with the means to shut down access and single-use codes are only capable of working once. Above all, monitor reports regularly and analyze them for strange or non-organic behavior; you’ll be able to note multiples, inappropriate price deductions, and more for investigation.
Engage with Refer-a-Friend
Helping a friend save money is the type of altruism everyone can get behind, but it helps to remember that people are more likely to take advantage of an offer when it’s referred to them by a friend, as well. You can incentivize this by offering additional promotions to the customer making the recommendation if their friend takes advantage of the sale. Take advantage of every channel your customers utilize to maximize impact, especially email, social, and SMS.
Measure Campaign Performance
Like every other kind of marketing, monitoring the performance of your campaign is key. It ensures your targeting and distribution strategies are working and helps to identify fraud before it gets out of hand.
A coupon management system will help you leverage tactics that help you avoid fraud (e.g., unique codes) to track specific customer conversions and further customize what coupons and offers are sent to them.
Inasmuch as it can give a very personalized view, a coupon management system can also provide wide angle views that assist with geo-fenced segmentation, redemption rates, and average time to redemption.
Valpak provides a performance tracking dashboard that allows you to view clicks, calls, responses, and redemptions across each campaign you run with us, including direct mail campaigns.
Developing a digital coupon campaign and setting up the processes to accept mobile coupons doesn’t have to be intimidating. The tips we’ve outlined above should help you to leverage mobile coupons to your advantage and give you an edge over your competitors.
And of course, as a leader in digital coupon promotions and distributions, Valpak would be an excellent marketing partner for you. Let us help you develop your next campaign and take advantage of our performance dashboard to track success.
Go Digital with a Mobile Coupon Campaign Today
3 Crucial Keys to Creating the Best Coupon Design
Direct mail response rates rebounded sharply in 2016. According to the DMA, the rates were the highest since 2003. House list response rates were 5.3% and prospect list rates responses were 2.9%. With numbers like those, competition for both print and digital coupon redemptions will only increase in 2017.That means it’s more crucial than ever that you design a coupon that will reach out and grab the attention of your target audience.
Yes, 81% of consumers use coupons regularly according to NCH. Sure, you have your loyal clientele that will always support you regardless of your offer and will use your coupon. But we’re betting your primary reason for using coupons is to entice new prospects to give your business a try. So it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make sure the coupons you create are as effective as possible.
Valpak developed The Best Practices to Creating Coupons that Get Results: A Coupon Lookbook to help you with your coupon creative from start to finish. Here are the highlights of how to create an effective coupon, but to benefit the most from all the best practices and successful coupon examples, be sure to download the FREE Coupon Lookbook.
To increase response and redemption of your coupons, you’ll want to consider three things: the headline, the design, and the offer.
Key 1: The Coupon Headline
What makes your coupon stand out? It starts with the headline. It’s the first thing potential customers see, making it the most important piece to get right. It’s typical for consumers to just take a quick glance at the headline, so you need to make sure the consumer wants to read the rest. There are a few things you want to remember when creating your headline:
Key 2: The Coupon Image
The best coupon design includes an image that will reinforce your headline and offer. It’s almost always good to use photography when advertising by mail as it taps into consumer emotions. That said, it’s important that your images are positive, happy, and identifies with the consumer, creating a connection. A positive image will not only associate happiness with your brand, but it makes your ad that much more appealing and it’s more likely that the consumer will take action. Remember, a single, large image is better than multiple small images. The best coupon designs will build desire and persuade consumers to take immediate action.
Key 3: The Coupon Offer
Now that you’ve got their attention with the headline and the image, keep them engaged with a clear, concise and valuable offer. Your specific offer is going to depend on your audience and your industry, but the goal is always going to be the same: To increase the value of your brand for consumers. You may want to try multiple offers to speak to a wider audience or to test effectiveness. Be very specific on your expiration date to inspire customers to act fast. Also ensure that your disclaimer of limitations is clear, so you don’t set yourself up for potential problems. Avoid a “bait and switch” approach. It may bring consumers in, but it will rarely convert them into customers.
Create The Best Coupons Today
Spend some time reviewing your previous direct mail advertising and coupon designs. Are there ways you can improve them in the future using these 3 tips for the best coupon design? If you focus on getting these 3 crucial aspects right, you’re bound to have a higher success rate. Are you interested in learning more about designing your coupons and direct mail ads? Would you like to see some successful examples and learn coupon best practices? Download our FREE Coupon Lookbook and use it as a guide for creating your future direct mail advertising. You can also reach out to your Valpak sales representative for help.